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Our story

Imagine driving to work, on a day like most days, on a route you know like the back of your hand. A sudden wave of dizziness sweeps over you—something you’ve never before experienced—and you’re forced to pull over to the side of the road until someone can come get you.

After this happened to Jay Lichter, Ph.D., he and several doctors tried to find an answer to his medical mystery. Dr. Lichter was eventually diagnosed with Ménière’s disease, a chronic inner ear disorder that strikes suddenly in middle-age—and a condition that, like many conditions of the inner ear, has no FDA-approved drug treatment or cure. As a result, Otonomy was born.

Founded in 2008 by Dr. Lichter, his doctor, Jeffrey Harris, M.D., Ph.D., chief of otolaryngology/head and neck surgery at the University of California San Diego, and several other neurotology experts, Otonomy works toward a singular goal: bring new treatment options to patients with hearing and balance disorders. Our work began with resolving one of the key challenges in the field: enabling drug therapies to reach their targets within the protected inner ear. Today, we leverage this expertise and technology to develop novel therapeutics addressing important unmet medical needs across the neurotology field.

Our team

Leadership Team
Board of Directors
Meet the Leadership Team
David A. Weber, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, President and Board Member
David A. Weber, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, President and Board Member

David A. Weber, Ph.D. has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer and on our board of directors since November 2010. Prior to joining us, Dr. Weber served from February 2004 to April 2010 as the Chief Executive Officer of MacuSight, Inc., a developer of a sustained delivery formulation of sirolimus for the treatment of severe ophthalmic diseases. Prior to MacuSight, he served as acting Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of Oculex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of intraocular pharmaceuticals and drug delivery systems, until its acquisition by Allergan in 2003. Dr. Weber has also held management positions in healthcare product development with Oral-B Laboratories and The Procter & Gamble Company. Dr. Weber has served on the board of directors of Oculis, a clinical stage ophthalmic biotechnology company, since September 2018. From October 2009 to July 2014, he served on the board of directors of On Demand Therapeutics, Inc., a medical device company. Dr. Weber received his Ph.D. in medical microbiology from Creighton University and his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in biological sciences from Wichita State University.

Elizabeth J. Ackermann, Ph.D.
Vice President,
Clinical Development
Elizabeth J. Ackermann, Ph.D.
Vice President,
Clinical Development

Elizabeth J. Ackermann, Ph.D. joined Otonomy as our Vice President, Clinical Development in March 2019. Dr. Ackermann has 20 years of pharmaceutical development experience in neurology and rare diseases. Prior to Otonomy, she served as the Chief Science Officer at the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation. Previously, she held various leadership positions at Ionis Pharmaceuticals including Vice President, Clinical Development where she led the development of Tegsedi® (inotersen), an approved treatment for Transthyretin Amyloidosis with Polyneuropathy, from Phase 1 to regulatory submissions. She also previously served as a Project Manager at Synteract, a clinical contract research organization, and held various leadership positions in research at TorreyPines Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on Alzheimer’s disease and pain. Dr. Ackermann worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Ionis Pharmaceuticals and as a NIH post-doctoral fellow in pharmacology at University of California, San Diego. She received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of California, San Diego and Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Sonoma State University.

Carla da Luz Boren, J.D.
General Counsel and Head of Human Resources
Carla da Luz Boren, J.D.
General Counsel and Head of Human Resources

Carla Boren, J.D. joined Otonomy in 2015 and serves as our General Counsel and Head of Human Resources. Ms. Boren has over 20 years of legal and human resources experience. Prior to Otonomy, she held several senior management roles in human resources across various businesses and global functions at Life Technologies/Thermo Fisher including Vice President of Human Resources, Mergers, Acquisitions, Divestitures & Integrations where she supported over 20 international and domestic transactions from diligence through integration. During her more than nine year tenure at Life Technologies/Thermo Fisher, she also served as an Integration Leader and In-House Counsel. Previously, Ms. Boren was an attorney with the law firms of DLA Piper as well as Littler Mendelson. Ms. Boren earned her Juris Doctorate at University of California, Los Angeles and her Bachelor’s degree in Political Economy of Industrial Societies from University of California, Berkeley.

Julie D. Burgess, CPA
Vice President,
Finance and Administration
Julie D. Burgess, CPA
Vice President,
Finance and Administration

Julie D. Burgess has served as our Vice President, Finance and Administration since January 2014. Ms. Burgess has more than 25 years of experience in financial reporting, technical accounting, debt and equity financings, and financial planning and management for public and private companies. Prior to Otonomy, Ms. Burgess served as the Corporate Controller for Apricus Biosciences, Inc. and a consultant to several other biopharmaceutical companies including Cypress Biosciences, Inc. and Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. Previously, Ms. Burgess served as the Vice President of Finance and Operations for Phenomix Corporation, a privately held biotech company, held various financial management positions at General Instrument, and served as an auditor at KPMG, LLP. Ms. Burgess is a licensed CPA, has her Master’s degree in Business Administration from San Diego State University and a Bachelor‘s degree in Business Economics from University of California, Santa Barbara.

Paul E. Cayer
Chief Financial and Business Officer
Paul E. Cayer
Chief Financial and Business Officer

Paul E. Cayer has served as our Chief Business Officer since October 2008 and Chief Financial Officer since October 2010. Mr. Cayer brings more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare technology field. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Cayer served from 2005 to 2008 as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development for Verus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of allergic and respiratory disorders in children. Mr. Cayer has also held various management positions with Targeted Molecules Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company, Gensia Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, Acuson, a provider of medical ultrasound systems, Castle & Cooke, a consumer products company, and served as consultant with Booz-Allen & Hamilton, a management and technology consulting firm. Mr. Cayer received his Bachelor’s degree in biomechanical engineering from Harvard University and MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Barbara M. Finn
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance
Barbara M. Finn
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance

Barbara M. Finn has served as our Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance since September 2013. Ms. Finn has over 40 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Otonomy, she served as the Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at Sonexa, a private biotech company, where she had primary responsibility for interactions with the FDA and other regulatory authorities related to the company’s Alzheimer’s disease program. Previously, Ms. Finn served as Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc., where she supported programs for insomnia, endometriosis, multiple sclerosis, and glioblastoma, and held various leadership positions as a regulatory affairs consultant at Quintiles, Inc. She began her career at Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis) where she spent 13 years in various roles starting as a research scientist in medicinal chemistry, transitioning to clinical research and then regulatory affairs. She is a past instructor in the SDSU Regulatory Science program. Ms. Finn received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station, New Jersey.

Alan C. Foster, Ph.D.
Vice President, Research
Alan C. Foster, Ph.D.
Vice President, Research

Alan C. Foster, Ph.D., has served as our Vice President, Research since December 2014. Dr. Foster is a neuroscientist and pharmacologist with over 35 years of drug discovery and development experience. During his career, he has led research programs that identified multiple drug candidates for a wide range of biological targets in the neuroscience, ophthalmology and neurotology therapeutic areas. Prior to Otonomy, he served as Vice President of Pharmacology at Allergan, Inc., and Vice President of Neuroscience at Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. Previously, he held research leadership positions at Gensia, Inc. and Merck. Dr. Foster was a post-doctoral fellow at both the University of California, Irvine, Department of Psychobiology, and the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine. He obtained his Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology and a Bachelor’s degree in Physiology and Biochemistry from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom.

Fabrice Piu, Ph.D.
Vice President, Research and Preclinical Development
Fabrice Piu, Ph.D.
Vice President, Research and Preclinical Development

Fabrice Piu, Ph.D., joined Otonomy at its inception in August 2008 as Senior Director of Research and Non-Clinical Development and has served as our Vice President, Research and Preclinical Development since January 2013. He has more than twenty years of drug research and development experience primarily in the field of neuroscience. Previously, he held various management positions at ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, including Director of Chemical Genomics, where he helped support the development of Nuplazid™ (pimavanserin), an atypical antipsychotic indicated for the treatment of hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s Disease. Dr. Piu was a post-doctoral fellow in the Pharmacology Department at the University of California, San Diego. He holds a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Ecole Normale Superieure and University of Lyon, France, a Master’s degree in Genetics and Immunology and Bachelor’s degrees in Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Biochemistry, from the University of Lyon.

Robert M. Savel, II
Chief Technical Officer
Robert M. Savel, II
Chief Technical Officer

Robert M. Savel, II has served as our Chief Technical Officer since January 2014. From September 2011 to December 2013, Mr. Savel served as General Manager and Senior Vice President of Operations for Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. From September 2010 to June 2011, Mr. Savel served as Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer for Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an ophthalmic pharmaceutical company. From April 2008 to September 2010, Mr. Savel served as President of Savel Enterprises LLC, a management consulting firm providing technical and operational support to biopharmaceutical clients. From April 2007 to April 2008, Mr. Savel served as the Senior Vice President of Technical Operations for PDL BioPharma. Earlier in his career, he held leadership operating positions with Johnson & Johnson, which included the position of Vice President, Quality and Compliance. Mr. Savel received his Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia.

David A. Weber, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, President and Board Member

David A. Weber, Ph.D. has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer and on our board of directors since November 2010. Prior to joining us, Dr. Weber served from February 2004 to April 2010 as the Chief Executive Officer of MacuSight, Inc., a developer of a sustained delivery formulation of sirolimus for the treatment of severe ophthalmic diseases. Prior to MacuSight, he served as acting Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of Oculex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of intraocular pharmaceuticals and drug delivery systems, until its acquisition by Allergan in 2003. Dr. Weber has also held management positions in healthcare product development with Oral-B Laboratories and The Procter & Gamble Company. Dr. Weber has served on the board of directors of Oculis, a clinical stage ophthalmic biotechnology company, since September 2018. From October 2009 to July 2014, he served on the board of directors of On Demand Therapeutics, Inc., a medical device company. Dr. Weber received his Ph.D. in medical microbiology from Creighton University and his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in biological sciences from Wichita State University.

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Elizabeth J. Ackermann, Ph.D.
Vice President,
Clinical Development

Elizabeth J. Ackermann, Ph.D. joined Otonomy as our Vice President, Clinical Development in March 2019. Dr. Ackermann has 20 years of pharmaceutical development experience in neurology and rare diseases. Prior to Otonomy, she served as the Chief Science Officer at the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation. Previously, she held various leadership positions at Ionis Pharmaceuticals including Vice President, Clinical Development where she led the development of Tegsedi® (inotersen), an approved treatment for Transthyretin Amyloidosis with Polyneuropathy, from Phase 1 to regulatory submissions. She also previously served as a Project Manager at Synteract, a clinical contract research organization, and held various leadership positions in research at TorreyPines Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on Alzheimer’s disease and pain. Dr. Ackermann worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Ionis Pharmaceuticals and as a NIH post-doctoral fellow in pharmacology at University of California, San Diego. She received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of California, San Diego and Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Sonoma State University.

Asset 2
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Carla da Luz Boren, J.D.
General Counsel and Head of Human Resources

Carla Boren, J.D. joined Otonomy in 2015 and serves as our General Counsel and Head of Human Resources. Ms. Boren has over 20 years of legal and human resources experience. Prior to Otonomy, she held several senior management roles in human resources across various businesses and global functions at Life Technologies/Thermo Fisher including Vice President of Human Resources, Mergers, Acquisitions, Divestitures & Integrations where she supported over 20 international and domestic transactions from diligence through integration. During her more than nine year tenure at Life Technologies/Thermo Fisher, she also served as an Integration Leader and In-House Counsel. Previously, Ms. Boren was an attorney with the law firms of DLA Piper as well as Littler Mendelson. Ms. Boren earned her Juris Doctorate at University of California, Los Angeles and her Bachelor’s degree in Political Economy of Industrial Societies from University of California, Berkeley.

Asset 2
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Julie D. Burgess, CPA
Vice President,
Finance and Administration

Julie D. Burgess has served as our Vice President, Finance and Administration since January 2014. Ms. Burgess has more than 25 years of experience in financial reporting, technical accounting, debt and equity financings, and financial planning and management for public and private companies. Prior to Otonomy, Ms. Burgess served as the Corporate Controller for Apricus Biosciences, Inc. and a consultant to several other biopharmaceutical companies including Cypress Biosciences, Inc. and Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. Previously, Ms. Burgess served as the Vice President of Finance and Operations for Phenomix Corporation, a privately held biotech company, held various financial management positions at General Instrument, and served as an auditor at KPMG, LLP. Ms. Burgess is a licensed CPA, has her Master’s degree in Business Administration from San Diego State University and a Bachelor‘s degree in Business Economics from University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Paul E. Cayer
Chief Financial and Business Officer

Paul E. Cayer has served as our Chief Business Officer since October 2008 and Chief Financial Officer since October 2010. Mr. Cayer brings more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare technology field. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Cayer served from 2005 to 2008 as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development for Verus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of allergic and respiratory disorders in children. Mr. Cayer has also held various management positions with Targeted Molecules Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company, Gensia Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, Acuson, a provider of medical ultrasound systems, Castle & Cooke, a consumer products company, and served as consultant with Booz-Allen & Hamilton, a management and technology consulting firm. Mr. Cayer received his Bachelor’s degree in biomechanical engineering from Harvard University and MBA from the Harvard Business School.

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Barbara M. Finn
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance

Barbara M. Finn has served as our Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance since September 2013. Ms. Finn has over 40 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Otonomy, she served as the Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at Sonexa, a private biotech company, where she had primary responsibility for interactions with the FDA and other regulatory authorities related to the company’s Alzheimer’s disease program. Previously, Ms. Finn served as Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc., where she supported programs for insomnia, endometriosis, multiple sclerosis, and glioblastoma, and held various leadership positions as a regulatory affairs consultant at Quintiles, Inc. She began her career at Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis) where she spent 13 years in various roles starting as a research scientist in medicinal chemistry, transitioning to clinical research and then regulatory affairs. She is a past instructor in the SDSU Regulatory Science program. Ms. Finn received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station, New Jersey.

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Alan C. Foster, Ph.D.
Vice President, Research

Alan C. Foster, Ph.D., has served as our Vice President, Research since December 2014. Dr. Foster is a neuroscientist and pharmacologist with over 35 years of drug discovery and development experience. During his career, he has led research programs that identified multiple drug candidates for a wide range of biological targets in the neuroscience, ophthalmology and neurotology therapeutic areas. Prior to Otonomy, he served as Vice President of Pharmacology at Allergan, Inc., and Vice President of Neuroscience at Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. Previously, he held research leadership positions at Gensia, Inc. and Merck. Dr. Foster was a post-doctoral fellow at both the University of California, Irvine, Department of Psychobiology, and the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine. He obtained his Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology and a Bachelor’s degree in Physiology and Biochemistry from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom.

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Fabrice Piu, Ph.D.
Vice President, Research and Preclinical Development

Fabrice Piu, Ph.D., joined Otonomy at its inception in August 2008 as Senior Director of Research and Non-Clinical Development and has served as our Vice President, Research and Preclinical Development since January 2013. He has more than twenty years of drug research and development experience primarily in the field of neuroscience. Previously, he held various management positions at ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, including Director of Chemical Genomics, where he helped support the development of Nuplazid™ (pimavanserin), an atypical antipsychotic indicated for the treatment of hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s Disease. Dr. Piu was a post-doctoral fellow in the Pharmacology Department at the University of California, San Diego. He holds a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Ecole Normale Superieure and University of Lyon, France, a Master’s degree in Genetics and Immunology and Bachelor’s degrees in Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Biochemistry, from the University of Lyon.

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Robert M. Savel, II
Chief Technical Officer

Robert M. Savel, II has served as our Chief Technical Officer since January 2014. From September 2011 to December 2013, Mr. Savel served as General Manager and Senior Vice President of Operations for Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. From September 2010 to June 2011, Mr. Savel served as Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer for Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an ophthalmic pharmaceutical company. From April 2008 to September 2010, Mr. Savel served as President of Savel Enterprises LLC, a management consulting firm providing technical and operational support to biopharmaceutical clients. From April 2007 to April 2008, Mr. Savel served as the Senior Vice President of Technical Operations for PDL BioPharma. Earlier in his career, he held leadership operating positions with Johnson & Johnson, which included the position of Vice President, Quality and Compliance. Mr. Savel received his Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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Meet the Board of Directors
Jay Lichter, Ph.D.
Chairman
Jay Lichter, Ph.D.
Chairman

Jay Lichter, Ph.D. has served on our board of directors since May 2008 and Chairman of our board of directors since August 2015. Dr. Lichter served as our Chief Executive Officer from inception until November 2010. Dr. Lichter is currently Chief Executive Officer of Avelas BioSciences and Fortis, both private biotechnology companies. He is an experienced biotechnology and pharmaceutical business executive with over 25 years of experience in management, scientific research and business development. Since 2007, Dr. Lichter has been a Managing Director at Avalon Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund focused on information technology and life sciences. In that role, he led Avalon’s investments in public companies Synthorx, Inc. and Aratana Therepeutics, Inc., and served as a director and Chief Executive Officer for several privately-held biotechnology companies. He previously served on the board of directors of Aratana Therapeutics, Inc., a public pharmaceutical company, from December 2010 to August 2015, and currently serves on the board of directors of Syntharx, Inc., a biotechnology company. Dr. Lichter also led Avalon’s investments in or currently serves on the board of several privately-held companies, including AristaMD, Fortis Therapeutics, Inc., Avelas BioSciences, Inc., COI Pharmaceuticals Inc., Sitari Pharmaceuticals Corp. and Sova Pharmaceuticals, Inc., among other life science companies. Dr. Lichter received a Bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Illinois. He also completed post-doctoral fellowships at Yale University and Du Pont Merck Pharmaceutical Company.

James B. Breitmeyer, M.D., Ph.D.
Board Member
James B. Breitmeyer, M.D., Ph.D.
Board Member

James B. Breitmeyer, M.D., Ph.D. has served on our board of directors since June 2018. Since September 2015, Dr. Breitmeyer has served as President, Chief Executive Officer and director of Oncternal Therapeutics, Inc. a clinical-stage oncology biotechnology company. He has been a director of Zogenix, Inc., a pharmaceutical company, since March 2014, and was their acting Chief Medical Officer from August 2012 to February 2013. Previously, Dr. Breitmeyer served as President of Bavarian Nordic, Inc. and Executive Vice President of Bavarian A/S, a multinational corporation headquartered in Denmark, from February 2013 to July 2015. He previously served as the Executive Vice President of Development and Chief Medical Officer of Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc., a pharmaceutical company, from August 2006 to August 2012, and the Chief Medical Officer of Applied Molecular Evolution Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Co., a global pharmaceutical company, from December 2001 to August 2006. Dr. Breitmeyer has also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Harvard Clinical Research Institute, and as Chief Medical Officer and Head of Research & Development for North America at Serono Laboratories Inc., an international biopharmaceutical company. Dr. Breitmeyer served as a founding collaborator and scientific advisor to Immunogen Inc., a biotechnology company, and held clinical and teaching positions at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Breitmeyer earned his B.A. in Chemistry from the University of California and his M.D. and Ph.D. from Washington University School of Medicine and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Oncology.

Vickie Capps
Board Member
Vickie Capps
Board Member

Vickie Capps has served on our board of directors since March 2014. From July 2002 to December 2013, Ms. Capps was the Chief Financial Officer of DJO Global, Inc., a medical device company. Prior to joining DJO Global, Inc., Ms. Capps served as the Chief Financial Officer of several other public and private companies. Ms. Capps has served as a member of the board of directors of NuVasive, Inc., a medical device company, since June 2015, and is the chair of its audit committee and a member of its nominating and governance committee and of Synthorx, Inc., a biotechnology company, and is the chair of its audit committee and a member of its compensation committee. In addition, Ms. Capps serves as a member of the senior advisory board of Consonance Partners (CCP), a healthcare investment firm, and is a member of the board of directors of CCP’s portfolio company, Eagle Rx, Inc., a provider of pharmacy services to the hospice industry. Ms. Capps is also a member of the board of directors of OmniGuide, Inc., a private medical device company, and previously served on the boards of several other public and private companies including Connecture, Inc., RF Surgical Systems, and SenoRx. In addition, Ms. Capps serves as a member of the board of directors of the San Diego State University Research Foundation and is a member of its audit committee and its finance and investment committee. Earlier in her career, Ms. Capps was a Senior Audit Accounting Professional at Ernst & Young, LLP. Ms. Capps is a California Certified Public Accountant and was recognized as CFO of the Year by the San Diego Business Journal in 2009 and 2010. Ms. Capps holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Accounting from San Diego State University.

Iain McGill
Board Member
Iain McGill
Board Member

Iain McGill has served on our board of directors since August 2016. Mr. McGill has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech sector and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and member of the board of directors for Quell Therapeutics, a privately held, innovating cell and gene therapy company in the immune dysregulation field. Between June 2012 and June 2019 Mr. McGill served as Senior Vice President, Europe and Rest of World for Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc with responsibility for all ex-U.S. operations. Between 2010 and 2012, Mr. McGill served as Chief Commercial Officer of EUSA Pharma, a specialty pharmaceutical company based in the UK, which was acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals in 2012. From 2006 to 2009, Mr. McGill served as Vice President and Global Business Manager for Transplantation and Immunology at Wyeth, a pharmaceutical company acquired by Pfizer Inc. Previously, Mr. McGill held general management and commercial leadership positions with increasing responsibility over thirteen years at Novartis and Roche. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of London.

Heather Preston, M.D.
Board Member
Heather Preston, M.D.
Board Member

Heather Preston, M.D. has served on our board of directors since August 2010. Dr. Preston has served as a managing partner at Pivotal bioVenture Partners, a life sciences venture capital fund, since July 2018. Dr. Preston has also served as a Senior Advisor at TPG Biotech, since July 2018, where she was previously a Partner and Managing Director from May 2005 to July 2018. She has served on the boards of directors of Alder Biopharmaceuticals since August 2010, of Oxford BioMedica since March 2018, of Entasis Therapeutics Holdings since August 2017, and of Karuna Therapeutics since 2019. Dr. Preston served on the board of directors of Albireo Pharma from 2008 to June 2018. Prior to joining TPG, Dr. Preston served for two years as a medical device and biotechnology venture capital investor at JP Morgan Partners, LLC. Prior to that, she was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at New Enterprise Associates, a venture capital firm. From 1997 to 2002, Dr. Preston served as a leader of the pharmaceutical and medical products consulting practice of McKinsey & Co in New York. Dr. Preston holds a B.Sc.Hons degree in biochemistry from the University of London and an M.B.B.Chir degree in medicine from the University of Oxford. After leaving Oxford, Dr. Preston completed a post-doctoral fellowship in molecular biology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard University. Dr. Preston completed her training in Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and then sub-specialized in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at U.C.S.F. During Dr. Preston’s academic career, she was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, a Fulbright Cancer Research Scholarship, a Harlech Scholarship and a Science and Engineering Research Council Post-doctoral Fellowship Award.

Theodore R. Schroeder
Board Member
Theodore R. Schroeder
Board Member

Theodore R. Schroeder has served on our board of directors since August 2015. Since July 2018, Mr. Schroeder has served as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the board of directors of Nabriva Therapeutics plc, a public biopharmaceutical company. Previously, Mr. Schroeder served as President, Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the board of directors of Zavante Therapeutics, Inc., a private biopharmaceutical company, from June 2015 to July 2018. Mr. Schroeder co-founded Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a formerly-public pharmaceutical company, and served as its President and Chief Executive Officer, and as a member of the board of directors, from May 2004 until its acquisition in March 2014 by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prior to this, Mr. Schroeder held a number of hospital-related sales and marketing positions with Elan, Dura Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, a global pharmaceutical company. Mr. Schroeder currently serves on the board of directors of Cidara Therapeutics, Inc., a public biotechnology company, Collegium Pharmaceuticals, a public specialty pharmaceutical company, and Biocom, a regional life science trade association. Mr. Schroeder holds a Bachelor’s degree in management from Rutgers University.

David A. Weber, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, President and Board Member
David A. Weber, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, President and Board Member

David A. Weber, Ph.D. has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer and on our board of directors since November 2010. Prior to joining us, Dr. Weber served from February 2004 to April 2010 as the Chief Executive Officer of MacuSight, Inc., a developer of a sustained delivery formulation of sirolimus for the treatment of severe ophthalmic diseases. Prior to MacuSight, he served as acting Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of Oculex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of intraocular pharmaceuticals and drug delivery systems, until its acquisition by Allergan in 2003. Dr. Weber has also held management positions in healthcare product development with Oral-B Laboratories and The Procter & Gamble Company. Dr. Weber has served on the board of directors of Oculis, a clinical stage ophthalmic biotechnology company, since September 2018. From October 2009 to July 2014, he served on the board of directors of On Demand Therapeutics, Inc., a medical device company. Dr. Weber received his Ph.D. in medical microbiology from Creighton University and his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in biological sciences from Wichita State University.

Jay Lichter, Ph.D.
Chairman

Jay Lichter, Ph.D. has served on our board of directors since May 2008 and Chairman of our board of directors since August 2015. Dr. Lichter served as our Chief Executive Officer from inception until November 2010. Dr. Lichter is currently Chief Executive Officer of Avelas BioSciences and Fortis, both private biotechnology companies. He is an experienced biotechnology and pharmaceutical business executive with over 25 years of experience in management, scientific research and business development. Since 2007, Dr. Lichter has been a Managing Director at Avalon Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund focused on information technology and life sciences. In that role, he led Avalon’s investments in public companies Synthorx, Inc. and Aratana Therepeutics, Inc., and served as a director and Chief Executive Officer for several privately-held biotechnology companies. He previously served on the board of directors of Aratana Therapeutics, Inc., a public pharmaceutical company, from December 2010 to August 2015, and currently serves on the board of directors of Syntharx, Inc., a biotechnology company. Dr. Lichter also led Avalon’s investments in or currently serves on the board of several privately-held companies, including AristaMD, Fortis Therapeutics, Inc., Avelas BioSciences, Inc., COI Pharmaceuticals Inc., Sitari Pharmaceuticals Corp. and Sova Pharmaceuticals, Inc., among other life science companies. Dr. Lichter received a Bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Illinois. He also completed post-doctoral fellowships at Yale University and Du Pont Merck Pharmaceutical Company.

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James B. Breitmeyer, M.D., Ph.D.
Board Member

James B. Breitmeyer, M.D., Ph.D. has served on our board of directors since June 2018. Since September 2015, Dr. Breitmeyer has served as President, Chief Executive Officer and director of Oncternal Therapeutics, Inc. a clinical-stage oncology biotechnology company. He has been a director of Zogenix, Inc., a pharmaceutical company, since March 2014, and was their acting Chief Medical Officer from August 2012 to February 2013. Previously, Dr. Breitmeyer served as President of Bavarian Nordic, Inc. and Executive Vice President of Bavarian A/S, a multinational corporation headquartered in Denmark, from February 2013 to July 2015. He previously served as the Executive Vice President of Development and Chief Medical Officer of Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc., a pharmaceutical company, from August 2006 to August 2012, and the Chief Medical Officer of Applied Molecular Evolution Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Co., a global pharmaceutical company, from December 2001 to August 2006. Dr. Breitmeyer has also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Harvard Clinical Research Institute, and as Chief Medical Officer and Head of Research & Development for North America at Serono Laboratories Inc., an international biopharmaceutical company. Dr. Breitmeyer served as a founding collaborator and scientific advisor to Immunogen Inc., a biotechnology company, and held clinical and teaching positions at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Breitmeyer earned his B.A. in Chemistry from the University of California and his M.D. and Ph.D. from Washington University School of Medicine and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Oncology.

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Vickie Capps
Board Member

Vickie Capps has served on our board of directors since March 2014. From July 2002 to December 2013, Ms. Capps was the Chief Financial Officer of DJO Global, Inc., a medical device company. Prior to joining DJO Global, Inc., Ms. Capps served as the Chief Financial Officer of several other public and private companies. Ms. Capps has served as a member of the board of directors of NuVasive, Inc., a medical device company, since June 2015, and is the chair of its audit committee and a member of its nominating and governance committee and of Synthorx, Inc., a biotechnology company, and is the chair of its audit committee and a member of its compensation committee. In addition, Ms. Capps serves as a member of the senior advisory board of Consonance Partners (CCP), a healthcare investment firm, and is a member of the board of directors of CCP’s portfolio company, Eagle Rx, Inc., a provider of pharmacy services to the hospice industry. Ms. Capps is also a member of the board of directors of OmniGuide, Inc., a private medical device company, and previously served on the boards of several other public and private companies including Connecture, Inc., RF Surgical Systems, and SenoRx. In addition, Ms. Capps serves as a member of the board of directors of the San Diego State University Research Foundation and is a member of its audit committee and its finance and investment committee. Earlier in her career, Ms. Capps was a Senior Audit Accounting Professional at Ernst & Young, LLP. Ms. Capps is a California Certified Public Accountant and was recognized as CFO of the Year by the San Diego Business Journal in 2009 and 2010. Ms. Capps holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Accounting from San Diego State University.

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Iain McGill
Board Member

Iain McGill has served on our board of directors since August 2016. Mr. McGill has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech sector and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and member of the board of directors for Quell Therapeutics, a privately held, innovating cell and gene therapy company in the immune dysregulation field. Between June 2012 and June 2019 Mr. McGill served as Senior Vice President, Europe and Rest of World for Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc with responsibility for all ex-U.S. operations. Between 2010 and 2012, Mr. McGill served as Chief Commercial Officer of EUSA Pharma, a specialty pharmaceutical company based in the UK, which was acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals in 2012. From 2006 to 2009, Mr. McGill served as Vice President and Global Business Manager for Transplantation and Immunology at Wyeth, a pharmaceutical company acquired by Pfizer Inc. Previously, Mr. McGill held general management and commercial leadership positions with increasing responsibility over thirteen years at Novartis and Roche. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of London.

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Heather Preston, M.D.
Board Member

Heather Preston, M.D. has served on our board of directors since August 2010. Dr. Preston has served as a managing partner at Pivotal bioVenture Partners, a life sciences venture capital fund, since July 2018. Dr. Preston has also served as a Senior Advisor at TPG Biotech, since July 2018, where she was previously a Partner and Managing Director from May 2005 to July 2018. She has served on the boards of directors of Alder Biopharmaceuticals since August 2010, of Oxford BioMedica since March 2018, of Entasis Therapeutics Holdings since August 2017, and of Karuna Therapeutics since 2019. Dr. Preston served on the board of directors of Albireo Pharma from 2008 to June 2018. Prior to joining TPG, Dr. Preston served for two years as a medical device and biotechnology venture capital investor at JP Morgan Partners, LLC. Prior to that, she was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at New Enterprise Associates, a venture capital firm. From 1997 to 2002, Dr. Preston served as a leader of the pharmaceutical and medical products consulting practice of McKinsey & Co in New York. Dr. Preston holds a B.Sc.Hons degree in biochemistry from the University of London and an M.B.B.Chir degree in medicine from the University of Oxford. After leaving Oxford, Dr. Preston completed a post-doctoral fellowship in molecular biology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard University. Dr. Preston completed her training in Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and then sub-specialized in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at U.C.S.F. During Dr. Preston’s academic career, she was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, a Fulbright Cancer Research Scholarship, a Harlech Scholarship and a Science and Engineering Research Council Post-doctoral Fellowship Award.

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Theodore R. Schroeder
Board Member

Theodore R. Schroeder has served on our board of directors since August 2015. Since July 2018, Mr. Schroeder has served as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the board of directors of Nabriva Therapeutics plc, a public biopharmaceutical company. Previously, Mr. Schroeder served as President, Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the board of directors of Zavante Therapeutics, Inc., a private biopharmaceutical company, from June 2015 to July 2018. Mr. Schroeder co-founded Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a formerly-public pharmaceutical company, and served as its President and Chief Executive Officer, and as a member of the board of directors, from May 2004 until its acquisition in March 2014 by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prior to this, Mr. Schroeder held a number of hospital-related sales and marketing positions with Elan, Dura Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, a global pharmaceutical company. Mr. Schroeder currently serves on the board of directors of Cidara Therapeutics, Inc., a public biotechnology company, Collegium Pharmaceuticals, a public specialty pharmaceutical company, and Biocom, a regional life science trade association. Mr. Schroeder holds a Bachelor’s degree in management from Rutgers University.

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David A. Weber, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, President and Board Member

David A. Weber, Ph.D. has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer and on our board of directors since November 2010. Prior to joining us, Dr. Weber served from February 2004 to April 2010 as the Chief Executive Officer of MacuSight, Inc., a developer of a sustained delivery formulation of sirolimus for the treatment of severe ophthalmic diseases. Prior to MacuSight, he served as acting Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of Oculex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of intraocular pharmaceuticals and drug delivery systems, until its acquisition by Allergan in 2003. Dr. Weber has also held management positions in healthcare product development with Oral-B Laboratories and The Procter & Gamble Company. Dr. Weber has served on the board of directors of Oculis, a clinical stage ophthalmic biotechnology company, since September 2018. From October 2009 to July 2014, he served on the board of directors of On Demand Therapeutics, Inc., a medical device company. Dr. Weber received his Ph.D. in medical microbiology from Creighton University and his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in biological sciences from Wichita State University.

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Life at Otonomy
Our people,
our talent

Otonomy was founded by a patient with a big idea: create a pipeline of innovative products to address the significant unmet needs of patients with hearing and balance disorders. Fulfilling this critical mission and leading the neurotology drug development field is a personal and collective responsibility, embraced and championed by all who work here.

Our team is forward-thinking, collaborative and passionate about cutting-edge research and product development. We are committed to excellence because we understand the connections that can be lost as a result of hearing and balance disorders and what could be gained with new, effective treatments.

Join us »